Recent examples of anti-social behaviour work
Equality Act defence – anti-social behaviour and disability
The Defendant in possession proceedings relied on both physical and mental health impairments to allege that he was a disabled person who was being unlawfully discriminated against by his landlord seeking possession. He was deaf in one ear and illiterate. Letters from his GP referred to him as suffering from ‘a significant mental health problem’ involving long-term depression and Antisocial Personality and Mixed Personality Disorders. He had made a number of suicide attempts. It had been suggested by his legal representatives that he lacked capacity.
The case demonstrated that, not only is alleged disability no bar to possession, but that the Court can give weight to the observations of other professionals, as well as medical evidence, when deciding on the issue of disability. The Judge placed reliance on evidence from a police officer, whose statement we had obtained in support of the client. The Judge pointed to excerpts from the officer’s statement in which she stated that she had never had to raise her voice to communicate with the Defendant, he had always appeared to understand what was being put to him and she was shocked when she learned that it was being suggested that he did not have capacity.
Delivering judgment following a two day trial, the Judge concluded that the Defendant was not a disabled person under the Act as neither his physical impairment nor his mental impairment had ‘a substantial impact on his ability to carry out day-to-day activities’. An outright possession order was made to take effect immediately. Permission to appeal was refused.
ASBI to Protect Elderly Residents
Late one Friday, we received a call advising of a serious incident at one of our client’s sheltered schemes. An elderly resident’s daughter had arrived at the scheme, pushed the resident out of the way to enter the resident’s home, verbally abused the resident in her own home and torn the telephone out of its socket when the resident attempted to call the police. The whole scene was witnessed by other elderly residents, one of whom the perpetrator pushed out of the way as she left. We took statements from witnesses and made a without notice application for an anti-social behaviour injunction including an order that the perpetrator be excluded from entering the scheme. The application was heard on the Tuesday and the injunction and exclusion orders were made, with powers of arrest attached. The orders were personally served upon the Defendant the same day.
Anti-social behaviour – because she thought she could get away with it!
The Defendant had caused misery and intimidation to the elderly neighbour living below her who had been subjected to months of loud music, rowdy parties, ‘domestics’ and general slamming of doors and stomping about. There had been flashpoints where the neighbour had been physically threatened and verbally abused by the Defendant and her former boyfriend.
After proceedings were issued the Defendant appeared to move away but returned after an extended period with a new boyfriend and new behaviour. She appeared to hope that by ‘being good’ she could avoid the consequences of her earlier actions.
Whilst the way that a Defendant behaves between the issue of proceedings and the trial is a significant factor that will be taken into account by the Court, the Defendant’s previous behaviour had been too extreme and she had not apologised to her victim or shown any remorse. The victim, whose health and spirits had deteriorated drastically over the course of these events, was still suffering from anxiety as a result of being liable to bump into the Defendant in the common parts, and her suffering was likely to be extreme in the event of the anti-social behaviour recurring.
We obtained an immediate order for possession.